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Readers Respond: Users Talk About Why They Chose HPV Vaccination & What it Was Like.

Responses: 8


Updated February 23, 2010

Come share your stories about what it was like to get the HPV vaccine. Why did you choose to get the vaccine when you did? Were you choosing for yourself or for a child? Was the experience good? Did you have any side effects? By sharing your decision making process you can help educate those who are trying to make up their own minds about hpv vaccination.

NOTE: To answer anonymously, log out of your account and post as a guest

hpv shot hpv

I got mine like 3 months ago and I had already had hpv down there and it actually helped my body finally fight off the warts. The vaccine burned a lot when they injected but after that I was fine, I didn't have any side affects at all. So I'd say for anyone sexual active to get it! Because when I was 17 my mom told me I didn't need the gardisil it and look what happened to me at age 20 I ended up catching a strain on hpv :( . So I'd definitely recomend the shot.
—Guest Jane

I'm Pretty scared!

I have mine in two days time! I am so scared. I looked on the internet for videos of people getting it done but they always flinch from the pain or scream their heads off. Please write some reassuring words!!!

Still have pain one year after!

I still have almost a phantom pain in my arm where the injection was. Like I'm getting the shot again and it's been more than a year after I got the shot. I got it only once because I heard about scary side effects only after so I never went back. However, I have realized I have this pain and this is the last shot I got - the exact same spot and it was very painful at the time.
—Guest Ashley Anna

It's some protection...

I was sexually assaulted as a teenager and won't have smears. I felt the vaccination would give me some protection and was worth the risk...my Dr has said I'd be very unlucky to get this cancer, which is quite rare, but because of the assaults I'm high risk. She understands having smears is not an option for me. I think we need a non-invasive and more reliable test...men got a blood test for prostate cancer very quickly when many refused rectal exams. I think doctors like the money that comes from smears and all the investigations for false positives. That's the other issue, my Dr said there is a high risk of a false positive sooner or later, so smears means accepting even more invasive exams and procedures. She said about two thirds of her patients have been referred, almost all were false positives. We need to pressure the profession for something better, this is an inaccurate and demeaning test. Many women won't have it and certainly won't have it regularly.
—Guest HJ

Not for me...

I chose not to have the vaccine. The risks worried me...also, this is an uncommon cancer. My husband and I were also virgins when we met, so I'm low risk for this cancer anyway. I don't really understand why we spend so much money on this cancer, it only affects a very small percentage of women. In the UK there has been a lot of information recently informing women of the rareness of cancer and that pap smears cause huge amounts of unnecessary treatment. All of this was deliberately concealed from women until recently. I'll try to live a healthy lifestyle and don't plan to worry about rare cancers. I'll look at breast screening closely later in life, but there are risks with that too. We heard about that recently as well. Sometimes the best thing is to exercise, eat well and manage your stress levels. I hope your doctors decide it's time for honesty as well...I think US and Australian women are still unaware of the facts behind screening.
—Guest Annie

Part of the Vaccine Trial

I actually participated in the study group when the HPV vaccine was in the trial stage. I am now 28, but received the vaccine about 7-8 years ago when I was still in college. I had no side effects from any of the three vaccines. Even though I have only ever had one sexual partner, I wanted to do anything I can to protect myself against cervical cancer. I was happy to be part of the study group and am thrilled that this beneficial product has made it to the market and will be able to help millions of women.
—Guest KJ

In my thirties

Anything that can protect me even slightly, from the chance of cancer is worth it to me. I was quite excited when I found out that my health plan covered the cost of the three Gardasil shots. My family doctor was surprised when I asked about it and remarked that I may have already been exposed to the strains protected by the shot. She very much left the decision up to me. When I received my first shot the nurse remarked that she not given a Gardasil shot to someone out of their teens before me. She was puzzled about why, a women in my late thirties would even consider getting this shot. I have had no side effects that I am aware of and I received the third shot about six months ago. The results are still out as to how long this shot may protect me before I need a booster but that is something I try to be aware of with other vaccines that I have received as well. The fact that me health plan covered the cost definitely swung me towards receiving it.

HPV Vaccine at MIT

As a sexually active adult, I was very interested to hear about the HPV vaccine when it came out, and concerned to hear that the "label" recommendation only covered women under the age of 26. Fortunately my place of employment (MIT) made the decision to cover "off-label" vaccination in women older than 26 as well, so my 3 injections cost just the 3 $20 co-pays. The injections were not any more painful than any other vaccine I've had, and the peace of mind at being protected from the major transmissible causes of cervical cancer is totally worth it. Recent studies have shown that the vaccine is effective in women over 26 and in men as well, so I hope to hear more places covering this usage soon.
—Guest J

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